Agriculture remains North Carolina’s top industry. Researchers have pointed to a rapidly growing population, loss of farmland, climate shifts, and emerging crop diseases as some of the complex agricultural challenges that do not fit into particular academic or research silos. The Plant Sciences Initiative aims to break down barriers to solving these and other major challenges.
On April 12, 2022, N.C. State will host a dedication for the Plant Sciences Building, which will be home to the Plant Sciences Initiative. The dedication is open to the public with registration available by clicking here.
Golden LEAF provided $48 million to support the initiative which will create opportunities to grow the state’s thriving agricultural industry into a global leader – by developing new products, conducting research, and educating our next generations of agriculture industry employees for the jobs of the future.
Golden LEAF’s longest serving Board member and North Carolina farmer Lawrence Davenport and Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton recently toured the near-complete building. The five story, 185,000-square-foot building was designed for maximum potential for collaboration, interdisciplinary activities, and innovation. The entire fifth floor is a greenhouse.
“The Plant Sciences Initiative is setting a standard for the world’s agriculture research,” said Davenport. “This is the first time I’ve seen a collaboration ever come together like this for agriculture. The Plant Sciences Initiative is the future of agriculture.”
In fact, this public-private initiative had a total of 44 statewide commodity groups raise $6 million for the Plant Sciences Initiative. Other partners include the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Plant Sciences Initiative already has more than 100 industry sponsored research projects.
“This public-private partnership will bring together the brightest minds in academia, government, and industry to drive vital research and innovation that will increase crop yields, extend growing seasons, enhance agricultural and environmental sustainability, and produce new and improved technology,” said Hamilton. “Golden LEAF remains dedicated to supporting our farmers and the agribusiness industry. Our farmers recognize the importance of innovation to the future of agriculture. Investing in the NCSU initiative is investing in rural North Carolina’s future.”
While the opening of the building is one major milestone for the Plant Sciences Initiative, it is only the beginning of the agricultural innovation that will give North Carolina farmers and rural communities the edge needed in a competitive global market.